No shame or bad mood about losing to the greatest club team the English domestic game has ever seen. We won the one against Manchester City at the Empire Stadium that really mattered though - the 100th FA Cup Final in the Year of the Cockerel.
Into the second year of Mourinho’s tenure are Old Trafford and already things are starting to turn to shit. Looks like the usual 3 year Mourinho cycle is on track.
This is his 3rd year. He’ll be gone by Christmas.
3rd year already, time flies. Ah no wonder then, he is looking for his exit now.
You surely remember the treble in his first season?
Nope sorry must have missed that one.
Duncan Castles was alluding to this same issue yesterday in his Man U column in the Sunday Times.
Is that article posted anywhere this side of the paywall?
It was in the UK print edition yesterday.
Sorry. I mistakenly thought that you knew what a paywall is.
Are you aware if it’s available online for free anywhere?
july 29 2018, 12:01am, the sunday times
Man United: Buy, buy, says Jose Mourinho
Manager is on brink of entering new season without the quality additions he craves
At the nadir of Manchester United’s 2017-18 campaign, after exiting the Champions League to Sevilla, Jose Mourinho spoke more openly about the club’s standing on the field of play than at any time since becoming its manager. Mourinho talked of “heritage”, of the first four post-Sir Alex Ferguson seasons in which the Premier League’s biggest club had finished no higher than fourth in the division. He talked of the seven years since United’s Champions League final appearance, during which they could manage no better than a solitary quarter-final.
Mourinho referred to some of the players he’d fought to move out of Louis van Gaal’s dysfunctional squad: “You look at United players who’ve left in the past year, where are they playing? Are they even playing?” And Mourinho underlined that his own squad remained a work in progress: “If the clubs in a better situation than us stop investing and we do invest, we can be side-to-side. If they keep investing the same or more than us, it’s difficult. It’s as simple as that.”
Now, with less than two weeks of England’s summer transfer window left, United’s relevant investment amounts to two players: Fred, a technical, creative midfielder recruited for an initial fee of €55m (£48.9m), and Diogo Dalot, a gifted teenager signed for €22m (£19.59m) in the expectation that he will develop into a starting right-back.
Sufficient to be “side-to-side” with a Manchester City squad that recorded 100 Premier League points two months ago? Enough to go head-to-head with repeat European champions Real Madrid, a Barcelona that won La Liga at a canter, a Juventus fortified by Cristiano Ronaldo, or Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain as they focus resources on the Champions League with limited domestic distraction?
Mourinho knows where his squad is weak, informed his board of the areas that required reinforcement — central defence, right wing, midfield, full-backs, cover up front — months ago. Yet here United are, on the brink of entering another season, without a centre-back any of the above-mentioned clubs would want to lead their defence in a crucial European tie, with a pair of thirtysomething converted wingers as first-choice full-backs, a vacancy on the right wing and a small forest of wood that, if not deceased, is in dire need of clearance.
Exasperated by the pace of change, Mourinho publicly pressed the club to deliver on “two more players”, in an interview with an American broadcaster last week. There was, though, a caveat. “One thing is what I would like; another thing is what is going to happen.”
If anything is going to happen it is likely to involve a compromise on quality. United’s scouting department has proposed Ante Rebic as an answer on the wing; Mourinho has doubts, but stronger options such as Malcom and Justin Kluivert have already switched clubs.
If United sign Harry Maguire before their August 10 opener against Leicester City, it will not be because the 25-year-old has Champions League experience, has won silverware or was his new manager’s first choice to lead the defence. It will be because the World Cup inflated Maguire’s reputation, his wages are relatively modest and United see value in acquiring an England international.
A year ago, United settled on Victor Lindelof because the Benfica-based Swede was cheaper than more polished options. If that’s one warning sign, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are two more. Spending heavily on English centre-backs in the expectation that they will develop into elite defenders offers no guarantee they ever will.
Contrast all this to the surgical fervour with which Liverpool have attacked this window and the previous one. Mediocre, one-paced midfield an issue against opponents who sat deep? Acquire Leipzig’s most creative midfielder, Naby Keita, and an individual who brought balance and steel to Monaco’s exceptional Ligue 1-winning side, Fabinho.
Keita is 23 and Liverpool wanted the Guinea international so badly they agreed to pay a premium on his release clause and wait a whole year to complete the transfer at a fee of €68m (£60.5m). “We see him as a creative number eight playing the passes and making the runs with the ball,” said Jurgen Klopp, who also envisages using Keita as a No 10, on the wing or as a holder. “With the ball he has the same speed as without, you don’t have a lot of players with this quality.”
Fabinho, 24, a Brazil international, almost went to Paris Saint-Germain a year ago, and was secured for an initial €50m (£44.5m) before this window opened. That once-fragile back four now contains a central defender and goalkeeper whose transfer fees are the highest ever handed over for their positions. Yes, Liverpool have been able to use the windfall of Philippe Coutinho’s record fee to part-fund the acquisitions of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, but they’ve also been prepared to meet stratospheric valuations of players who few would label the best in their positions.
After committing €586m (£521.5m) to transfer fees during Pep Guardiola’s first two years as manager, Manchester City have reined in their spending. There has been just one experienced addition to date, Riyad Mahrez joining from Leicester as a back-up winger for a fee in the region of £60m.
Guardiola, who is under pressure to win the Champions League, is unimpressed that City have failed to sign the high-quality midfielder he had stated was a priority. The club has sought to paint the loss of Guardiola targets Fred and Jorginho to United and Chelsea respectively as a positive, underlining City’s new parsimony in the transfer market.
Conscious of the psychological challenge involved in retaining a Premier League title, Guardiola knows City’s transfer business could leave a chink in their defence of it. The question is whether anybody outside Liverpool is fully focused on exploiting that.
Josey is well into his end game plan at this stage.
I’m going with a November departure.
This will be great to watch
A defeat at Parkhead in the CL will finish him .
This is fascinating
Moral victory for Jose dragging it back to 3-2
he’ll be gone by Christmas, the fans have had enough oh him and the style of football
Jose reminding his interrogators in the post match press conference that he’s won more EPL titles than the other 19 managers in the league put together. He’s just going through a bad patch. Man U would be mad to dispense with a proven winner like Jose.